It's 2022, and people are still getting dark spots on their faces. You'd think there'd be an easy fix to your dark spots and blemishes by now, right? Well, what if we were to tell you there is!
Of course, that depends on what caused your dark spots to appear. It’s common for men of all ages to develop discoloration or dark spots on their skin. Not only is it a part of getting older, but it can be caused by various factors, such as sun damage, hormonal changes, medication, and more.
In this article, we’ll look at what causes dark spots on the skin and how to get rid of them.
What Are Dark Spots?
Dark spots on the skin, or hyperpigmentation, occur when some areas of the skin produce more melanin than usual. While dark spots are not a cause for concern and do not usually need treatment, many people choose to remove them for cosmetic reasons.
Dark spots can develop anywhere, and they are more likely to appear on certain parts of the body that receive the most sun exposure.
Dark Spots vs. Scars
Before you start your quest to help reduce your dark spots, you want to be sure they're not acne scars, as the treatment for both is very different.
Scars and dark spots often get mistaken for each other, so we want to be sure you don't fall into this mistake as well.
Dark spots caused by acne or sun damage sit flat on the surface of the skin. There should be no indication that there may be any long-term damage to the skin cells, pores, or follicles. If the area you're analyzing is raised or appears to have skin irritation, it may be a scar.
In that case, we suggest leaving it alone for a few days or until it's easier to make a more accurate decision.
Scars are usually caused by old acne or clogged and engorged pores. Nearly everyone gets blemishes sometimes, and it's not uncommon for these to scar over.
The easiest way to tell if your acne mark is just scar tissue or a dark spot is by making sure the area is not raised. If the area is raised, then it's likely an acne scar and not a sunspot.
What's Causing Your Dark Spots?
If you've noticed an increase in dark spots on your face, it may be due to certain lifestyle changes. Dark spots are essentially a pigmentation issue. These dark spots on your skin's epidermis may be caused by aging, scarring, sun damage, and other factors.
Let's take a moment and pinpoint what is causing your dark spots.
While it may be a tough pill to swallow, your dark spots may be due to aging. It's part of every man's life, and it's nothing to stress over. However, there are ways you can get rid of your dark spots. These spots are commonly referred to as aging spots caused by overactive pigment cells.
As you age, those years spent in the sun start to catch up to you. As UV rays speed up the production of melanin, spots begin to appear.
When dark spots are caused by acne, bug bites, cuts, burns, excessive or incorrect hair removal techniques, ingrown hairs, harsh skincare products, scarring, or other skin conditions, this is called post-inflammatory hyperpigmentation (PIH).
Dark spots caused by acne are essentially when a pimple you pop blemishes and scars over. When a pimple is popped, your body goes into the process of healing, but sometimes your body overcompensates and sends too much melanin to the area — leading to dark spots.
Melanin is a skin pigmentation in the hair, eyes, and skin. The cells that make melanin are special skin cells called melanocytes. While everyone has the same amount of melanocytes, some people produce more melanin than others.
People who make less melanin tend to be fairer with light hair, whereas people who make more melanin tend to be more tan with darker features.
After a long summer spent on the boat or other outdoor activities, you may notice a few more dark spots than usual. That's normal — they're probably there because of the extra sun exposure.
When your skin is exposed to the sun for a long time, it begins to produce more melanin to protect your skin from damage the sun may cause; this is why dark spots appear on your skin.
The sun's UV rays can cause irresistible damage to your skin. You should always ensure your skin is well protected every day. Yes, even if you don't plan to spend a lot of time outside.
What Is SPF?
You've been told since you were a boy while playing T-ball to apply your sunscreen, but what exactly is sunscreen, and why is it good for your skin?
The main purpose of sunscreen is for the SPF and the coverage it offers your skin. However, sunscreen can serve other purposes, too, such as moisturizing your skin.
While ultraviolet lights are invisible to humans, that doesn't make its effects less damaging. Ultraviolet rays can damage the DNA in your skin cells, leading to permanent skin damage.
The higher SPF in a bottle of sunscreen, the more protection it offers. SPF describes how much UVA and UV radiation it would take to leave you with a sunburn — for example, 15 SPF is less protection than 30 SPF, so being out in the direct sun with only 15 SPF might result in a slight sunburn, while 30 SPF could have kept you protected.
Understanding the Risk Factors
While dark spots are usually nothing to worry about, other skin conditions can sometimes appear as common dark spots.
Certain risk factors can increase a person’s risk, including:
- Sun exposure
- Skin conditions
- Trauma or injury
- Prescription medications that increase pigmentation
If you have any of these side effects, we suggest contacting your doctor or dermatologist for guidance on how to best protect your skin.
How To Prevent Sun Damage
There are many ways you can help prevent sun damage. Applying sunscreen is one of them, but that's not all you should be doing.
Always Wear Sunscreen
You should be applying sunscreen every day, at least once. We suggest once in the morning and again mid-day.
Try To Avoid the Sun During Its Peak Times
The sun has parts of the day when it's most powerful, between 11 am to 2 pm. If your skin is extra sensitive and burns easily, we suggest steering clear of prolonged sun exposure during these times.
However, if you're wearing enough sunscreen and taking breaks under the shade, enjoying the sunshine at these times should be no issue.
Consider Wearing Protective Clothing.
We don't want to go as extreme as suggesting you wear a rash guard for adults, but throwing on a lightweight dry-fit long sleeve will help protect your skin.
Wear Ultra-Violet Sunglasses
Wearing ultra-violet sunglasses is a great way to protect your eyes from the sun. The area around your eyes is sensitive, and it should be treated as such.
Ingredients To Help Fade Most Dark Spots
Yes, dark spots can be caused by many things, and some need specific treatments, but general treatment methods work well for most dark spots — no matter the cause.
When trying to combat dark spots, it's best to use products that have a lightening effect on your skin and help even out dark skin tone.
Vitamin C is thought to brighten your skin and help even your skin tone. Vitamin C serums have often been used for depigmentation as this vitamin helps decrease melanin formation.
You may know aloe vera for its ultra-healing properties, such as rashes, bug bites, and sunburn. But aloe vera is also commonly used to help get rid of dark spots on your face, especially around the forehead and cheeks.
Azelaic acid is a compound found in wheat, rye, and barley. Azelaic acid can help block the production of abnormal pigmentation.
Glycolic acid evens out your skin tone by exfoliating the dead skin cells and removing dark melanin-stained skin cells.
Kojic acid is a skin brightener, making it great for getting rid of dark spots. Its main benefit is that it inhibits an enzyme crucial for melanin production. Melanin can help fade dark spots and pigmentation.
Tips on How To Get Rid of Dark Spots
Dark spots can leave your skin tone appearing uneven. And while they do not require medical treatment, some people may want to remove them for cosmetic reasons. Dermatologists may offer creams and procedures, depending on the cause, size of the dark spot, and area of the body.
Tip #1: Laser Therapy
While laser therapy may not be for everyone, it's a viable way to get your skin complexion back to normal. Laser therapy takes light specially tuned to specific wavelengths to help your skin regain its even tone.
Tip #2: Chemical Peels
A chemical peel involves applying a solution to the skin, which exfoliates the surface and leads to new skin growth. It may gradually fade dark spots on the skin. It's essentially a deep exfoliation with a chemical solution. This solution is formulated to boost the health of your skin and help it glow.
Tip #3: Aftershave
When you shave your thick beard, your skin is exposed to the sun's harsh rays. This skin most likely hasn’t seen the sun for quite some time, so you should make sure you’re offering it some protection.
We suggest using a protective aftershave no matter what, especially if you struggle with uneven skin tone.
Ways To Help Prevent Dark Spots
Dark spots aren't necessarily a sign of unhealthy skin but can signify recent neglect. We understand that skincare may not have always been your top priority, but you're only given one body, and your skin should always be treated well.
Find a Skincare Routine
Even if you've never had a skincare routine before, having a set-in-stone routine is great for your skin. Most guys just have a routine for when they decide it's time to shave, but we say you should maintain one every day.
Skincare doesn't have to be complicated — it can be as easy as two steps, in under two minutes — just use the MadeMan Re(Set) Collection and it will be that easy.
Routines are good for you, whether it's a morning jog, afternoon lift, or AM/PM skincare ritual.
Eat A Healthy Diet
Accomplishing healthy skin can be done with consistency and determination. You can use the best products with the best skin care and shaving routine, but if you don't nourish your body correctly, you'll likely still experience breakouts.
Eating a balanced diet will help with your gym gains and make your skin clearer — what more could you ask for?
Even though splurging sometimes is fine, you still want to be eating healthy most of the time. That means eating foods high in proteins, vitamins and minerals, and healthy carbs and fats.
With most food being heavily processed and full of unhealthy ingredients, you must watch what you're putting in your body.
Keep Snacks on Deck
Diet breaks usually happen after someone waits too long to eat, and their body starts craving foods high in fats and sugars.
The best way to avoid binge eating is by keeping filling, nutritious snacks on hand. And we aren't talking about a sugar-filled granola bar; we mean healthy snacks like walnuts, peanut butter, beef jerky, etc.
Prioritize Your Sleep
Your sleep plays a vital role in your overall health. Your sleep affects everything in your body, including your skin. If you aren't getting your ZZZs, you can expect your mood and skin to be less than optimal.
An adult should consistently get around seven to eight hours of sleep per day.
Keep Skin Moisturized
Moisturized skin is healthy skin. It will appear glowy and youthful. A common cause of dull skin is a lack of moisture. Not to mention how uncomfortable dry skin can feel.
Keeping your skin moisturized is good for overall health, but it also has other benefits. Moisturizing daily can reduce skin issues such as extreme dryness or extreme oiliness. Plus, it can help reduce the appearance of fine lines and wrinkles.
MadeMan ensures every product we produce is next-level because we know your skin deserves it.
When To See a Doctor for Dark Spots
In most cases, dark spots on the skin are not harmful. However, there may be instances where it can be hard to tell the difference between a dark spot and other serious skin conditions.
People who are unsure of a dark spot or have not been able to get rid of it should visit their doctor and discuss their concerns. It is essential to talk to your doctor right away if you notice any of the following signs:
- Sudden appearance of a spot
- Excessive itchiness
- Tingles around the spot
- Bleeding out of the spot
- Changes in color, texture, or shape, especially from dark brown to any reddish/purple color
The final consensus is that dark spots are no fun and can be hard to get rid of. However, like most skin issues and discoloration, it takes a bit of consistency and patience to address.
Yes, it may take some trial and error to find the cause of your dark spots. But once you do, the fix can sometimes be as simple as applying some extra SPF before leaving the house and using ingredients that work to brighten and even skin complexion.